Petr Cech joined Arsenal in the summer for £10million following an 11 year spell at rivals Chelsea. Despite being at the club for less than a season the Czech Republic international has had an immediate positive impact both on and off the field for Arsenal, which could see him set to become the next Arsenal captain, with current club captain Mikel Arteta set to hang up his boots and step in to a coaching role.
Petr Cech is currently leading the clean sheets tally in the Premier League, bringing the added stability of a world class goalkeeper among an already accomplished defence, making him many pundits and fans pick for signing of the season.
Since the departure of Patrick Vieira in 2005 Arsenal have had five different club captains including Thierry Henry, Robin Van Persie and Cesc Fabregas. Therefore, the decision of club captain is an important one for Arsene Wenger to mull over when selecting his next as he has seen many of his club captains have only short stints as captain before moving to other clubs.
It’s hard to look past the option of Cech becoming the new Arsenal captain as the goalkeeper has an invaluable amount of experience and leadership having won over 100 caps for his country, not to mention his list of achievements including winning the Premier League and FA Cup four times each as well as one Champions League.
As mentioned earlier, Arsene Wenger has often faced problems in being able to hold on to his captains in the long haul, however this is unlikely to be a concern with Cech as at 33 years old he is unlikely to move to another club any time soon, meanwhile he still has a good few years to offer performing the top level.
Other candidates for the captaincy include Per Mertesacker who is currently the vice-captain who also brings vast amounts of experience having won over 100 caps for Germany, consequently winning a World Cup in 2014. However, Mertesacker is unlikely to be a long term replacement for the captaincy due to his age and the emergence of Gabriel Paulista which could see his first team place under threat. Although the German international has consistently contributed good performances this season, Wenger may opt to use Gabriel more frequently as of next season.
Laurent Koscielny also seems to be a name on the lips of many fans when discussing a possible new Arsenal captain. The French international has shown maturity in his position and has developed to become one of the most loved and respected players at the club due to his consistent performances at the heart of the Arsenal defence. Having been at the club since 2010 this is likely to work in his favour when Arsene Wenger inevitably selects a new club captain.
Although Arsenal have often been criticised for having a lack of leaders over the last few years, it seems as if there are a few dependable options available for Arsene Wenger which suggests that he has incorporated leaders in the squad who lead by example rather than vocally, which Arsenal fans of older generations remember so fondly about former captains such as Tony Adams and Patrick Vieira.
While it looks likely that Mikel Arteta is set to become a coach, the boss has a big decision on his hands which could potentially be his last pick as club captain. It will certainly be interesting to see whether the position of Petr Cech may work against him, as many coaches prefer to select out field players as their captain. Or will the Frenchman opt to choose the experience of Cech over the likes of Koscielny, despite Koscielny being at the club much longer. Or will the Gunners boss make a shock decision and put his trust in a younger player such as Aaron Ramsey as a long term solution, only time will tell.